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Celtics Retire Lewis's 32, And Jordan Should Take Back Old Number 23

Column by Bo Light
and Brian Petersen
Sports Columnists

Although most of the campus is heading to parts unknown for Spring Break, the sports world never rests. We at EA Sports offer our first official column of the spring, which began on Monday, for use as light reading on your flight to someplace warm.

O.J. Trial Update

Brian "Kato" Kaelin took the stand this week as a witness for the prosecution, as the Greatest Show on Earth dragged on. Kaelin appeared nervous on the stand, but said he felt great when questioned.

We think we know why Kato was nervous. The official EA Sports opinion is that Kato Kaelin murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. What was his motive, you may ask? Kato was O.J.'s lover - why else would he be allowed to stay there rent-free? - and grew insanely jealous when it appeared O.J. and Nicole were headed for a reconciliation.

It was easy for Kaelin to frame Simpson by planting bloody implements throughout the estate, and he completely avoided suspicion by readily "cooperating" with police. Still looking for the murder weapon, boys? Check the guest house.

On The Ice

The NHL season is now two months old, and, as we predicted early on, the cream is rising to the top. Lesser teams that were at the top of their divisions in January and February are heading for the cellars, as the rust comes off the sticks of top teams, such as Calgary and Philadelphia. The biggest turnaround in the past month has got to be the Washington Capitals, who have climbed eight places in the Eastern Conference standings since the arrival of goalie Jim Carey.

In administrative news, rumors abound of a growing anti-IHL sentiment among top NHL brass. Most of these rumors stem from the huge surge in the popularity of the IHL during the lockout and the league's expansion this season into Chicago and Detroit, which already have established NHL markets.

Among the rumors is a report that the NHL endorses a mass expansion by the AHL, hockey's other top minor league, under the premise that teams with IHL affiliates could move their affiliation to AHL cities.

Even if this story is true (and the NHL has denied it), it is ridiculous. The IHL is the premier minor hockey league in America, and is certainly better for developing top prospects. Some NHL managers have complained that it is too difficult to develop young players against the more seasoned and intense competition in the IHL, but one would think they would prefer that to sending their rookies to a league full of has-beens and cream puffs like the AHL.

College Hoops

You ask for it, we give it. Many of our loyal readers have written to us over the past few weeks asking who we thought deserves to be considered EA Sports All-Americans. After some arguing and bickering and a trade involving a Hershel Walker football card for Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, and the cards of nine other Cowboy draft picks, we finally reached agreement on who we believe is worthy of recognition.

Forwards: Kurt Thomas, Texas Christian, and Ed O'Bannon, UCLA. Center: Joe Smith, Maryland. Guards: Shawn Respert, Michigan State, and Randolph Childress, Wake Forest.

Thomas, perhaps the most underrated and unheard of player in the country, gets the nod at forward over the likes of Corliss Williamson, Jerry Stackhouse, and Gary Trent. This season the TCU senior became only the third player ever to lead the nation both in scoring and rebounding (Xavier McDaniel and Hank Gathers were the others). Choosing Respert, O'Bannon, and Smith were no-brainers.

Childress narrowly beat out Damon Stoudamire, who is definitely the best point guard in the country, and Kerry Kittles, who was our selection for Big East Player of the Year. If you need proof that Childress is better than these guys, watch replays of the entire ACC Tournament. Childress broke a tournament record by scoring 107 points on his way to leading Wake to an ACC crown.

Player of the Year honors go to O'Bannon, who averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds for the nation's best team.

NBA Insights

It's official now: Michael Jordan is back. His Airness made his much anticipated, albeit unspectacular, return to basketball last Sunday in the Bulls' overtime loss to the Pacers. One thing we noticed while watching Sunday's game was that he is showing the effects of playing baseball: Jordan's shooting percentage (25%) was just slightly above his batting average. Michael, ditch number 45 and pull 23 down from the rafters.

The other big news grabbing the headlines is the rumor circulating that Reggie Lewis did cocaine. Coincidentally, this rumor surfaced right before the Celtics raised his jersey number into the Garden rafters Wednesday night. We are not taking any stance on the issue other than this: Whether or not he did coke, let the guy rest in peace.

If he did do coke, the Celtics are furthering a double standard in the sports world. If Lewis is guilty, why retire his number at the same time somebody like Pete Rose is banned from Cooperstown for gambling? Remember, drug abuse is banned by the NBA, just like gambling is banned in baseball. Personally, we would like to see both athletes get the recognition they deserve for outstanding careers. On the other hand, the sports world should not be hypocritical by honoring one and not the other.

Trivia Question

With replacement baseball likely to be coming to a park near you all season, this might be as good a year as any for the Red Sox to win it all. What was the last year the Sox won the World Series? For easy bonus points, name all the major league teams that have gone longer than Boston without winning the World Series. Send answers, comments, and copies of the Donald Fehr Fan Club newsletter to easports@the-tech.

Answer to last week's question: Michael Jordan's top scoring performance came March 28, 1990, when His Airness lit up Cleveland for 69 points. Correct answers were sent in by Hareendra Yalamanchili '97, Josh Katseff '97 (who also sent us the complete list of fraternities ending in epsilon), and Aaron Day '95, who mentions that, after the game, Cavs guard Craig Ehlo was quoted as saying, "I could have sworn he scored 71." Congratulations to all the winners.